5 steps to prepare your Jeep for winter

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(© F Armstrong Photo – stock.adobe.com)

When the cold weather arrives and the snow is present, it might be time for you to sort out your Jeep for the winter. Here are 5 steps you can take to keep your Jeep on the road during the winter.

1. Check your windshield

One of the defining characteristics of the Jeep Wrangler is its straight windshield. This new design also means that it is prone to stone chips and cracks both on and especially off-road. Rapid temperature changes, like defroster blasting, can turn a tiny chip into a sprawling crack if left untreated. These tiny cracks can usually be fixed with DIY home kits, which will save you headaches during the winter.

2. Test your battery

Unless you’re stuck, you might want to test your battery before winter comes. Your battery creates a chemical reaction (when the terminals are connected) which generates electrons to power your Jeep. During cold winter temperatures, the battery slows down this chemical reaction, which reduces power output. Colder temperatures make your Jeep’s engine oil thicker, which in turn puts more strain on your starter motor and battery when starting cold.

Go to your nearest auto store for a free battery test and replace it if your battery already looks dark.

3. Check your hoses, belts and boots

What does the temperature have to do with your hoses, belts, and boots? Lower temperatures make the rubber components of your engine more fragile. This means that any component that is already worn out can eventually fail in cold weather.

First, check your belts when the engine is off. Carefully inspect the belts for any signs of wear that could cause the belt to crack or crack. Pay special attention to the areas near the pulleys, as they are under maximum tension. If you see any tears or cracks, we recommend replacing the belt.

Next, check your pipes and boots. Hoses and boots in good condition should be able to be easily squeezed and should return to their original shape when released. Also check for any seeps or leaks as you inspect the ends of the pipes. If you have any doubts about your pipes and hoses, this is a relatively inexpensive replacement that will literally save you from being left behind in the cold.

It can also be a great opportunity to upgrade your hoses to silicone hoses. There is a lot of direct adjustment silicone hose kits available for Jeeps. We recommend that you find a hose kit design that features a multi-layered silicone construction, with built-in heat-resistant fibers, which provides maximum protection from all the elements.

4. Test your coolant

Believe it or not, your cooling system is also prone to freezing under certain conditions, which can lead to permanent damage. Your Jeep engine is designed with many anti-freeze plugs designed to rupture if the internal fluid freezes. When a cap ruptures, your cooling system leaks, and if a cap is not functioning properly, frozen water will damage your engine.

How can you prevent this? Check your cooling system to make sure it contains the correct mixture of antifreeze and water. The correct mixture should be a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water. NEVER MIX DIFFERENT COOLANTS. Mixing coolants can cause them to react with each other, creating a gelatinous substance that will not cool the engine properly and cause it to overheat. If you haven’t flushed your coolant in a while, now might be a good time to do so. Sediment and particles build up over years of use, clogging coolant passages and reducing cooling performance. If you’re looking to bring the best of the best into your car, take a look at Liquid Chill® Synthetic Engine Coolant / Antifreeze. Liquid Chill® is formulated to perform well in extreme conditions, whether hot or cold.

Once you’ve prepared your Jeep for winter, you know spring and summer are just around the corner. To move forward for next season, we recommend that you take a look at a radiator for your Jeep, this is how you can help keep your engine cool during the hotter months.

5. Check your heating system

Let’s be honest, you didn’t buy your Jeep because of its excellent insulation. Jeeps are known for their ability to go topless, not to mention the simple job of removing most body panels. However, that does mean your Wrangler has less than ideal winter insulation. To compensate for this, Jeep heating systems are built with an integrated HVAC heating system that can heat up your cabin quickly. Checking your heating system to make sure it’s blowing warm before winter will keep you from driving in the frustrating cold. If your Jeep is breathing out cold or lukewarm air, your heater core may be clogged and will need to be unclogged for hot air to return.

Eric Zuo’s story


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